Saturday, March 16, 2013
E is for Everday
Sometime last year I bought a book entitled The Goddess Is In The Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch by Deborah Blake. The introduction states that the book is about "bringing our best witchy selves to every moment of our mundane lives." I think the book succeeds in giving examples of how to do just that. It's not a Wicca 101 text, and is something I would have appreciated finding a few years ago.
Not that I don't enjoy it or find it useful now - I do, even if Blake approaches everything from a Wiccan standpoint. But at this point in my life, my practice is already so integrated into my daily life that I don't think book impacted me the way it would have when I was struggling with the inevitable "what next?" that all solitaries experience. I'm already an everyday witch.
It's not really something I'm bragging about - honestly, usually the most I talk about my magical practices are here on this blog, over on the Cauldron forum, and in my seldom-updated podcast with my sister. In my day to day life, I rarely discuss metaphysical junk unless wasted and prompted... and even then I tend to stick to generalities, not talk about what I do. When I was younger and less secure in my path, I was far ore willing to engage with people on the topics of magic and paganism, possibly because it helped define what I was doing. I do shit now I never would have dreamt of when I was a teenager, but it's so much a part of my life that talking about it seems on par with discussing cleaning the bathtub.
I had a housewarming party last weekend. It was the first time my friends have seen the apartment since I moved in. In the old place that I'd shared with my sister, the living room was always neutral ground, a space solely for entertaining guests. My current home is essentially a very large bachelor suite, and so the spacious main room is where the vast majority of my possessions that aren't clothes reside. That means there's really no hiding anything. The large bookshelf devoted entirely to occult tomes? Right there. Essential and aromatherapy oils sit on another bookshelf beside the Ouija board tray I made to catch spare change and my keys when you come through the door. The kitchen stores spell candles, and glass containers full of herbs and incenses.
All of this is physical stuff, but I mention it in order to give an example of how much witchcraft is integrated into my life. It's something I can point to - see, there's John the Conqueror root and Bend Over oil on the shelf above the place I keep my sugar and flour. You can see that. What I cannot show other people easily are those ways in which I see and interact with the world.
I tend to be a bit lazy - I like to stay in, I am woefully inconsistent when it comes to my art and writing. My exercise routine can be disrupted easily, and I find it difficult to make time for things I 'should' be doing. Probably the only thing I'm not a lazy slacker about is magic. In my family, my mother and sister have both been known to utter, "I'm a lazy witch." That is a statement I can never make.
Here's what I did last week:
Friday: Offering meal to Ghede.
Sunday: Trip to graveyard to get dirt and be terrified of big black birds.
Monday: Cleansing bath, fumigation of apartment.
Wednesday: Tarot readings, new spell schedule worked out.
Friday: Sigil creation.
Today it's house cleaning day - physically and otherwise.
These are just things I do. They're enjoyable, and sometimes thrilling. But until you sit down and type it up, you don't realise how much of your energy you're devoting to something that probably classifies you as a crazy person. I spent hours walking around looking at dead people's markers trying to find the section where all the Odd Fellows and Freemasons and such are buried, and then asking dead people if I could take dirt away from their graves - this is not how most people spend their Sunday afternoons!
But it seemed like a natural thing to do. Just like putting herbs or oils into my mop water seems routine, or mapping my schedule around lunar cycles.
I forget this is not how the world works. On the rare occasions someone DOES ask me about my occult interests, I have to stop and think of how to explain the whys of things. I have to remind myself that, "so do you do spells?" and " ...do they work?" are valid questions.
I've officially been practising for half my life now, so I guess it's not any wonder that my mundane and magical lives are so intertwined. I couldn't say for certain how much of that is a result of practice and how much is strictly mental - for me, personally, the two are inextricably joined. My mind influences my actions, but my actions influence my mind. I've trained myself to see magic everywhere, everyday. Not in an abstract way, but as something I can reach out and touch.
And that's how I like it.